ITTO project leads to significant new funds for Amazon forest monitoring

12 June 2013

‘Training on forest monitoring at the Amazonian Regional Center of INPE in Belem, Brazil’ under ITTO project RED-PD 029/09 Rev.1 (F). Photo: Antonio Matamoros

The ITTO project on ‘Monitoring deforestation, logging and land use change in the Pan Amazonian Forest – PANAMAZON II’ (RED-PD 029/09 Rev.1 (F); ITTO budget US$ 1,124,784.00) supports the member countries of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) in improving governance on issues related to logging and land use in the Amazon region, aiming at offering real–time information about extension and quality of the forest cover. The project implementation started in 2011 within the framework of the ITTO Thematic Programme on ‘Reducing deforestation, forest degradation and enhancing environmental services (REDDES), which is financed by Norway, Switzerland, Japan and the USA. Additional project funding is provided by the Governments of the Netherlands (DGIS) and Germany (BMZ/GIZ) through their Amazon Regional Program and by the participating countries, i.e., Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. Technical support is received from the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Brazilian International Cooperation Agency (ABC) and the Ministries of Environment of the participating countries.
The project supports the development and application of monitoring systems of deforestation and the development of national monitoring plans of forest cover, using a common regional methodology. In the second year of implementation, the project has developed the institutional infrastructure at the regional and national level with the establishment of a Regional Coordination Unit at the ACTO Permanent Secretariat in Brasilia, Brazil and National Coordination Units in each country. Country personnel have been trained in the use of the latest technologies related to data processing and management of large databases developed by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), including Terra Amazon (TA), PRODES, DETER and DEGRAD. As TA uses free software, free images and vector analysis methodology, the system is particularly suited for the needs of regional monitoring. Following the training, National Observation Rooms have been installed in each country (except Brazil), equipped and put into operation to analyze and process satellite imagery used for the monitoring.
The Board of the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES), through the Amazon Fund ( ) in May 2013 approved an amount of R$ 23 million (approx. US$ 11 million) to ACTO to ensure the continuation and expansion of the activities initialized under RED-PD 029/09 Rev.1 (F). Over a five year period, the new ACTO project on ‘Monitoring of forest cover in the Amazon Region’ will continue the structuring and implementation of the established observation rooms, provide access to forest cover monitoring technology, support the development of national monitoring plans, and foster the improvement, harmonization and standardization of institutional capacities to assess land use changes in the participating countries. It will support regional cooperation to combat illegal logging and exchange of experiences related to public policy instruments to reduce deforestation. The expected project results also directly contribute to the objectives of the UN-REDD programme through improved control of deforestation and forest degradation, and through the strengthening of monitoring systems and provision of data from all participating countries. The project is supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), the Brazilian Ministry of Environment (MMA) and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE).